But Jesus called the children to him and said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Luke 18:16 ESV
As we sang, “Jesus Loves Me,” it was strange how I recalled the memory of my mother telling me to “Sit on your bed till your father gets home!” I would groan and head off to my room and plop myself down to wait. I knew the standard operating procedure by heart. First, came the lecture, then the phrase, “This is going to hurt me, more than it’s going to hurt you!” Though I had heard those words many times I was pretty sure that I was the only one who was going to feel any pain!
Some of us think of God like that. We are scared to death of what He will do to us when He comes home. But that simple song, reminds that we have a Father in Heaven who treats us differently than we expect. We are reminded that he never told us to go wait on our beds until we get a licking. Instead, Jesus waited quietly while Pontius Pilate and the religious leaders of His day misunderstood Him, unjustly beat Him and condemned Him as a criminal. Though it was our selfish decisions and actions that had injured others, He took the punishment we richly deserved. When they nailed Him to the cross, it really was hurting Him more than it would ever hurt us. But the good news is that even after all He suffered, Jesus is not angry with us. He is not making us wait for a punishment when He comes home. In spite of all He suffered; the chorus of that simple song is our greatest hope “Yes Jesus loves me! Yes, Jesus loves me! Yes, Jesus loves me! The Bible tells me so!”
But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. 1 John 1:7 ESV
Recently we enjoyed watching the old film, “Annie” She reminds me a lot of my early life, when I was living on the streets. Of course you do not need to be homeless to want someone to rescue you, love you and be willing to include you in their family. The story of Annie could be the story of every person looking for God. When I first became a Christian, the song, “Are You washed in the Blood?” was popular in our church. I loved it because it was lively and easy to sing, and it expressed the joy I had in my new found life. It is strange to think of blood washing something, because as anyone who does laundry can tell you, blood stains are some of the hardest to remove. Even when bleach or other cleaners are used, they still show up under ultraviolet light. But God doesn’t do things according to our way of thinking. In His plan, the blood of Jesus Christ is the perfect cleansing solution for the sin stains on our hearts. But how does it work? How can the blood of Jesus wash away my sin?
Today’s verse explains that we have to begin by walking in the light. In other words we must be honest with God. We need to come to God without pretending and confess our sins to Him. He knows the truth anyway and sent Jesus to die so that we could be forgiven. Secondly we learn that when we are honest with God, we can begin to walk with Him. Since God always tells us the truth, if we will tell Him the truth, we begin our new journey with Him. Last of all the Bible tells us that walking with God means more than just trying to keep up with him like a toddler rushing after His parent. It means having fellowship with Jesus Christ. He is the one whose blood washed away our sin because He wanted us as His children and friends forever. Since we have His promise that He wants to have a relationship with Him, what are we waiting for? As we drove home recently through rural South Carolina we noticed a sign on a small church with a great question:
“Mosquitoes know there is power in the blood. Do you?”
Have you been to Jesus for the cleansing pow’r? Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb? Are you fully trusting in His grace this hour? Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?
Are you washed in the blood, In the soul-cleansing blood of the Lamb? Are your garments spotless? Are they white as snow? Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?
Are You Washed in the Blood? by Elisha Hoffman 1878
I hope you like this throw back video of Earl Scruggs playing it the way I learned it back in the day. Be blessed, tap your feet and sing along!!
In the New Testament Jesus tells us that God blesses peace making people but Jesus never said it was easy. “Mom he’s picking on me!” Is one of the most common phrases around every family, (including ours) because it is easier to blame someone for our problems than to make peace with them. Sadly, jumping on the band wagon of pointing an accusing finger at people who are different than us at school or work ( or church) just feels so right. But today’s scripture warns us that God takes quite a different view. God says He loves it when we work to make peace and He offers us His friendship.
Instead of accusing others even if they are truly guilty, Jesus chose to begin the peace process by taking our guilt on Calvary. He died to bridge the friendship chasm between us and the Father, and He offers us His friendship whenever we are ready to make peace with Him.